Participatory development is seen by many to be the answer to the issues of ineffectiveness and insustainability which plague externally-imposed international community development. Critics discount this, questioning the inclusivity and sustainability of participatory methods. This paper argues that stakeholders undertaking truly participatory development must balance power to create a discourse surrounding the development effort. The effect of this dialog is knowledge building. It is hypothesized that the overall effectiveness of participatory development efforts can be assessed by evaluating the knowledge building that occurs throughout the efforts. A model, based upon Bessette (2004), is presented as a means of framing such an assessment. The knowledge building associated with four participatory development case studies is analyzed using this framework. The results show that development efforts with increased knowledge building have greater overall success and sustainability.
"Assessing Participatory Development Processes Through Knowledge Building,"
SPNA Review: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/spnareview/vol4/iss1/3